Following the Court of Appeal ruling ordering the striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to resume work within seven days, the leadership of the union says it is consulting with lawyers and members to decide next line of action.
DAILY GIST reliably learnt that ASUU zones have summoned an emergency meeting to deliberate on the appeal court ruling.
The National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, in reaction to the court order, said the union is consulting.
But a branch chairman in the South West stated that the union is not perturbed by the court ruling.
He also confirmed that ASUU has started consultation with its lawyers and some members on the court judgement.
According to him, the union would seek for legal opinion from lawyers as well as consult with members.
The chairman revealed that an emergency zonal meeting of the union would hold this weekend to also deliberate on the appeal court ruling.
His words: “The various ASUU zones will meet because of the appeal court judgement. The zonal meeting is in reaction to the court ruling.”
The branch chairman was not forthcoming whether ASUU would comply with the appeal court ruling. He said decision on the next line of action would be taken after due consultation with lawyers and members.
Recall that the Court of Appeal on Friday had ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to call of its ongoing strike immediately.
The appellate court said ASUU should first obey the order of an industrial court which directed the suspension of the strike before seeking to appeal the judgment.
The court gave ASUU seven days within which to file the appeal following the obedience to the ruling of the lower court
The court said resumption of work by the lecturers is the only condition that the union’s request to appeal the ruling of the National Industrial Court which ordered the union to call off its strike will be given effect.
FG threatens ASUU with contempt
The federal government has threatened to sue the striking lecturers, who are members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities if they fail to resume as ruled by the Appeal court.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, who issued this threat during an interview monitored on Channel TV, disclosed that he had directed labour controllers to monitor compliance at all tertiary institutions across the states.
He said, “The court says ASUU must obey today (Friday). I have asked labour controllers in the 36 states and the zones to reach out to the universities; number one, to see if the vice chancellors have opened the gates because that is one of the imports of the judgment of the Industrial Court.
“You must open the gates, you must open the class rooms and to see whether those workers, those teachers reported today, tomorrow Friday and Saturday. My labour controllers will write me a report.
“The Education Ministry through the NUC will also do their bit and we will compare it. By Tuesday, if they have complied with this, first, they will have the right to appeal as the court says.
“If they come back to their classroom, they will have time to attach evidence and do their appeal. My labour controllers will also give me things to support education in the country. If they don’t, go and read that portion of the NICN Act, they will be charged for contempt,” he said.
DAILY GIST reported that ASUU had been on strike since February 14 to press home the demand for improved funding for universities, a review of salaries for lecturers, replacement of UTAS with IPPIS among other issues.